Controlling Troops and Matériel
The changes in the JCS committee system in 1943 involved administrative readjustments to balance the War Department's internal organization and procedure with its way of conducting its external affairs. The main issue that arose was the proper assignment inside the War Department of responsibility for making certain that the flow of Army troops and matériel to the overseas theaters was in harmony with strategic plans. This question was hotly debated by the Army agencies concerned at the same time that the parallel problem of the relationship between strategic and logistic planning was being discussed in the joint committee system. In the War Department distinct but necessarily interlaced problems were attacked concurrently, often by the same officers, sometimes by the same committees, and usually in the same memoranda and reports. One problem involved the relations between the Army Service Forces and the War Department General Staff as a whole. The second involved the relations between OPD, particularly the Logistics Group, and the rest of the General Staff. The third concerned the administrative organization inside OPD for carrying out the responsibilities of the Division in controlling the flow of troops and matériel to the theaters of operations.
The adjustment of zone of interior programs to overseas operations was the concern of the whole War Department, not exclusively of the Army Service Forces and the General Staff. The Army Air and the Army Ground Forces were vitally affected, as was the Army Service Forces, by the allocation of manpower, the procurement of equipment, and the scheduling of overseas movements. But the controversy over War Department control of the flow of troops and material to the theaters directly involved only the Army Service Forces and the divisions of the General Staff. General Arnold and the Air Staff had a great deal of influence on War Department policies governing the wartime expansion and employment of air forces, and took no formal action to remove the vestiges of General Staff control. General McNair and his staff did not seek to circumvent or limit General Staff control, although they vigorously protested War Department policies that compromised their program for training ground combat forces.1 General Somervell and his staff, on the other hand, not only protested specific War Department policies that affected the procurement of supplies and equipment and the organization and training of service troops, but also attacked the very principle
of control over these matters by the War Department General Staff.
The General Staff and the Army Service Forces
Early in April 1943 General Somervell recommended eliminating logistic planning altogether from the activities of the War Department General Staff and reassigning it to the Army Service Forces (and, as appropriate, to the Army Air Forces). To this end, he proposed abolishing G-1, G-4, and the Logistics Group of OPD, transferring their "personnel, equipment, records, facilities, functions, duties, responsibilities, and authority" to General Somervell's headquarters (or to General Arnold's headquarters). "In matters of supply and administration," General Somervell argued, "it is highly impracticable, if not impossible to separate policy and operations. The enforcement of the policy inevitably tends to become the actual operation of that policy with all of the extra administrative detail and personnel required for an additional agency to do the work of another." He therefore concluded that General Staff logisticians were unnecessary:
The need for an Operations Division and a Military Intelligence Division is apparent, one to plan and coordinate operations, and the other to collect, evaluate, and disseminate military intelligence data. There is no other agency provided in the organization of the War Department to perform these functions. It is believed that the Chief of Staff, and the War Department, have been satisfactorily served by these two divisions, and that they have performed essential functions. G-3 may or may not be more effective as a part of OPD.
With respect to the G-1 and G-4 Divisions, it is believed that an analysis of their duties, responsibilities, and the contribution which they make to the activities of the War Department will indicate that they duplicate largely the work which must perforce be carried out by the Army Service Forces and by the Army Air Forces for supplies and equipment peculiar to those forces.2
General Somervell's proposal to abandon the General Staff principle entirely in regard to zone of interior affairs showed to what a great extent the Army Service Forces in fact had taken over the traditional duties of G-1 and G-4. General Somervell's headquarters staff had succeeded in supervising, co-ordinating, and in fact dominating the work of the administrative and technical staffs, the old "bureaus," in a way the General Staff had never done. By 1943 the Army Service Forces was asserting on its own behalf the claim for independence from the General Staff that its several component agencies had long asserted for themselves in their respective fields of special administrative and technical competence. The net effect of General Somervell's proposals would have been to recognize the Army Service Forces as the proper staff to give the broadest kind of logistic advice to the Chief of Staff as well as the command in the zone of interior to carry out approved policies based on that advice. In its own sphere the Army Service Forces would then have been equivalent to OPD plus the tactical commands overseas in the separate sphere of military operations. The Chief of Staff would have a second command post in the War Department, one to deal with logistics, in addition to his operational command post. Moreover, one officer, General Somervell, would have been at the head of the staff in the logistic command post and at the head of the operating logistic command.
at that time. OPD's position might have been magnified to some extent by the absorption of G-3, but at the expense of the continued existence of the General Staff. The abandonment of the General Staff idea would abrogate the principle from which OPD's prerogatives had sprung, that is, the principle of high-level staff co-ordination of all Army activities that affected military operations.
General Marshall referred the document to General Handy for his reaction, and General Handy responded to General Somervell's proposal with a strong indorsement of the General Staff concept. He said that he was inclined to believe that the error of the past year lay in taking away from G-1 and G-4 too many operating responsibilities rather than in limiting the authority of the Army Service Forces to determine policy. General Handy went on to observe that the entire General Staff should be permitted to engage in "operating" insofar as necessary to insure that its plans and policies actually governed and met the practical operating, administrative, or executive problems of the Army. General Handy categorically stated his own views:
My belief is that the General Staff has a very distinct function and that it should not be abolished. We would be going back to pre-World War [I] setup. The experience of every Army in the world has shown the necessity for a planning, policy making, and coordinating group. A move to abolish it would be a distinct step backwards. . . . My idea is that G-1 should not be abolished but extended to include an operating function as to personnel similar to that now exercised by the Director of Military Personnel in the Army Service Forces. The idea that the General Staff never operates is not sound. I never saw an effective staff that did not to a certain extent operate. It is my impression that many of the proper functions of G-4 have already been absorbed in the Army Service Forces. Some of these undoubtedly should have been. But I am of the opinion that the Chief of Staff needs a coordinating and policy making agency on supply matters. A very definite need exists for this coordination.
General Handy likewise defended G-3, which, in his opinion, was doing a big job and doing it very well. He saw no reason for OPD's taking the job over, as General Somervell had suggested. For these reasons General Handy advised against making OPD virtually the sole remnant of the General Staff, and against giving the Army Service Forces a monopoly on making plans and policies governing personnel, supply, and other technical matters, as well as performing the operating or administrative duties in those areas of Army activity. In conclusion General Handy stated: "My impression is that the present organization is working fairly well. It has accomplished what was a crying need in the War Department, namely decentralization. The danger in too great a decentralization is uncoordinated action. There must be a coordinating agency, and I know of nothing better to accomplish this than the General Staff." 3
The Logistics Group was the center of the particular activities of OPD which conflicted with those of the Army Service Forces and in addition tended to minimize the functions of the other divisions of the General Staff. By mid-1943 General Tansey had developed his Logistics Group into a small but very influential staff for studying all matters of logistics, supply, and equipment as such, as distinguished from such matters
in any specific theater. It dealt with nearly every aspect of the mobilization and assignment (i.e. allocation) of Army troops and matériel, the paramount interests of the Army Service Forces. The Logistics Group thus was directly involved in the long controversy, set off by General Somervell's memorandum, concerning the role of the General Staff in logistic planning and in controlling the movement of troops and matériel. General Somervell had observed:
There appears also to be some duplication of effort between the Army Service Forces and the Army Air Forces and the Logistics Section which has been established in the Operations Division, W.D.G.S. This appears to be a straight and unnecessary duplication of effort. . . . It would seem highly desirable therefore for this duplication to be eliminated, the personnel released and the duties absorbed in the appropriate agencies of the Army Air Forces and the Army Service Forces.4
General Somervell wanted to abolish the Logistics Group not only on the grounds that also applied to G-1 and G-4, but in addition because, he felt, the members of the Logistics Group were not competent to advise and assist the rest of OPD, the Chief of Staff, or the JCS. He explained his point of view to the Army planner about the same time, urging that advice from the Army Service Forces should be taken most seriously, since the Service Forces was continuously studying supply problems in all their ramifications, that is, the "logistics of total war." He believed that the Logistics Group was getting beyond its depth in offering advice except on "supply requirements for specific overseas operations," and doubted whether it should undertake even that much, asserting: "Even in this field, the data must be developed in my staff and technical divisions and much duplication of effort and possibilities of confusion would be eliminated if the Operations Division called on the Army Service Forces for all of its logistical studies. In any event, this section should not be permitted to wander without a guide in the deep forests of war economy." 5
In commenting on General Somervell's April memorandum, General Handy explained with regard to the special problem of the Logistics Group:
I doubt very much if General Somervell understands what the so-called Logistics Group of this Division does. Its real purpose is to let our theater and planning people know what forces and material are available for operations. Probably the use of the term "Logistics Group" is unfortunate. The information selected and made available-by this group concerns many other things besides supply; for example, readiness of troops, organization, troop bases, etc. You will recall that the Victory Program study was guided by the War Plans Division. We are continually called upon for opinions on such matters as the organization and composition of the Army, on policies as to equipping French and other forces. It was with the idea of having an agency to study these questions and to keep up-to-date data on availability of troops, supplies and equipment that this group was organized. My opinion is that something of the kind will always be necessary even though it is called by some other name.6
No administrative action resulted from General Somervell's memorandum, and later in the spring he repeated his proposal.7
implications, which recalled the old "bureau" versus General Staff struggle, of General Somervell's proposal. It concluded:
I believe that, although we should organize primarily for war, we should not forget the after-the-war period and the effects of any organization adopted now on the post-war Army. . . . In peace time all our experience shows a tendency to build up and increase the power of the services as opposed to the combat element. The present setup, with one of these commanders [i.e., the CG, ASF] controlling funds, allotments, and, to a certain extent, personnel, would result in this commander practically running the Army in peacetime. We should not forget what a struggle it was for the Chief of Staff to get control of the Army. No system should be started that may well result in the breaking down of that control.8
The Army Ground Forces likewise opposed doing away with the General Staff as then organized. When General Somervell repeated his proposal, General McNair wrote a highly personal comment. He first took note of the argument that the proposed reorganization would make for economy, as follows: "I note that your staff, exclusive of Chiefs, aggregates over 20,000, while G-1 and G-4 of the War Department aggregates 90. If there is duplication of personnel and effort, it is in your house. In general, the modern headquarters is a fearful and wonderful thing." He abruptly dismissed General Somervell's reasons against the General Staff's "operating," declaring the question to be "quite irrelevant" since the distinction could not be clearly drawn between determining policy and "operating." He then came to his main point of disagreement: "The fundamental fallacy of your proposal lies in the fact that you are trying to create an administrative commander, breaking down the functions of the over-all commander and violating the fundamental principle of unity of command." He concluded with a statement of his own views:
I believe in your A.S.F., because you are essentially the commander of the zone of the interior. The former set-up whereby the War Department attempted to command both the theaters and the zone of the interior, was impracticable in war. But I do not admit that you are responsible for logistic operations in the War Department or in overseas theaters. G-4 is the proper adviser of the Chief of Staff in logistic policies, even though such is not the case today due to the force of your personality.9
The Chief of Staff, probably in view of the strong opposition from these and other quarters, never took formal action on General Somervell's plan. Logistic policy making in theory at least remained a function of the General Staff. Nevertheless, some thought had to be given to the fact, to which General Somervell drew attention, that the Army Service Forces with its immense staff and OPD with its broad powers between them tended in practice to decide the questions which traditionally belonged to G-1, G-3, and G-4. An alternative solution to that proposed by General Somervell was, as General Handy indicated, to strengthen the G-1 and G-4 Divisions of the General Staff by increasing their responsibilities in their own fields by explicitly recognizing
their authority to "operate." For its part, OPD was clearly in favor of avoiding all kinds of work that was not inextricably entangled with its own duties and consequently was ready to recommend increasing the responsibilities of the other General Staff Divisions.10 Such a step, however, required a very careful examination into the means by which OPD would continue to exercise its superior authority and broad jurisdiction within the General Staff and thereby avoid reverting to the painfully slow method of concurrences, which the 1942 reorganization virtually had eliminated.
Logistics Inside the General Staff
The question of the distribution of responsibilities as among OPD, G-1, G-3, and G-4, and the related question of Army Service Forces aspirations to control all logistic planning, had to be settled in close connection with the substantive questions of mobilization and deployment of forces. The issue was taken up first by a Special Army Committee organized in mid-1943 to study the troop mobilization program.11 In a special report on the subject of General Staff organization, the committee emphasized the need for a strong General Staff but recommended the elimination of the Logistics Group, OPD, in order to avoid duplicating or ignoring the efforts of G-1, G-3, and G-4 and proposed that the theater sections of OPD take up theater requests for personnel, units, and supplies with the appropriate General Staff Divisions. This arrangement would have left OPD entirely dependent on logistic advice from outside the Division. In other words General Handy would have no logistics specialists responsible directly to him for evaluating the very factors that, in many cases, determined the course of strategy or operational policy being formulated by S&P or the Theater Group.12 The report did not remark on the fact that in some ways the Logistics Group was a kind of composite G-1, G-3, and G-4 unit in OPD, and that consequently the presence of such a unit might be exploited to advantage without basically changing the S&P-Theater Group system.13
The problem was neither solved nor dropped after this report, but passed on for further study by a committee of G-1, G-3, G-4, and OPD officers. It was instructed to find "policies and procedures which will restrict the present uneconomical flow of unnecessary individuals, units and materiel to the several theaters." Plainly, designation of the agent for establishing such policies and procedures was part of the problem.14
Forces, lacking systematic supervision by the General Staff, was in most cases the final authority. It was the extraordinary influence it exercised in these fields that had led General Somervell to argue that G-1 and G-4 were useless staff agencies. Any remedy of this situation that augmented General Staff control of the movement of troops and materiel overseas would destroy the possibility of the virtually autonomous logistic command then still being urged upon the Chief of Staff by General Somervell.
The General Staff committee appointed to study this problem, without even considering an alternative, recommended strengthening General Staff machinery for controlling the flow of troops and materiel to the theaters. Colonel Maddocks, OPD member of the committee, drafted the initial committee report, circulated for adoption by all four General Staff Divisions represented. It stated that it was necessary, in view of dwindling American resources in manpower and material, to abandon the current system whereby the General Staff exercised only very loose control over the flow of military resources to the theaters. The report pointed out that a great deal of the previous difficulty lay in the way OPD worked. The individual theater sections, representing their respective theater commanders, made a strenuous effort toward "supplying theaters with individuals, units, and material" as requested by the theater commanders without much systematic study of the effect this had on the logistic problems of the zone of interior. Colonel Maddocks proposed that OPD "establish an agency to review and correlate operational and supply plans, including troop bases, submitted by the several theater commanders, and, by coordination with the Personnel, Organization and Training, and Supply Divisions, War Department General Staff, to balance the operational demands of these plans with each other and with those of the war as a whole." 15This proposal offered a solution to the problem of logistic-operational balance by placing the responsibility squarely on the General Staff and setting up a special agency in OPD to discharge it. It offered no solace to Headquarters, Army Service Forces, whose interests would be challenged just as much or more by an OPD thus strengthened as by a reinvigorated G-1 and G-4. Unlike the earlier recommendation of the Special Army Committee, it was a practical way to strengthen General Staff performance of logistic staff functions as an alternative to relinquishing them to the Army Service Forces. It did not require a complete reorientation of G-1 and G-4 but instead merely a grant of authority and a minor reorganization inside OPD.
The Issue of Staff Authority
The ensuing staff discussion of Colonel Maddocks' proposal for a new agency in OPD to integrate operational and supply planning, centered first and foremost around what its relations with G-1, G-3, G-4, and (by implication) the Army Services Forces, would be like. No other issue could be resolved until there had been a definite ruling on the issue of authority.
Comments by Theater Group officers on the draft report mentioned specifically that it ought to state clearly that OPD would have superior authority in working with the rest of the General Staff and with the other logistic agencies of the War Department. As the Pacific Theater Section chief put it: "This reorganization is believed to be completely sound and workable, provided Operations Division is fully authorized to direct and control all action by the supply and service agencies to the extent such is necessary." 16
As a result of divergent comments on Colonel Maddocks' draft, the General Staff, committee submitted two versions of its report to the Deputy Chief of Staff. One, approved by OPD and G-4, followed the initial draft fairly closely but plainly subordinated the activities of the other General Staff Divisions to the work of OPD on controlling the flow of troops and matériel to the theaters. It provided:
The Operations Division, War Department General Staff, acting with the assistance and advice of the Personnel, Organization and Training, and Supply Divisions, War Department General Staff, will review and correlate the operational and administrative plans, including troop bases, submitted by the several theater commanders, and will balance the operational demands of these plans within themselves, with each other, with those of the war as a whole and with the means available.
The Operations Division, War Department General Staff, will take the necessary action to implement approved operational and administrative plans, including troop bases, of the several theater commanders.
An alternate version of this part of the report, approved by G-1 and G-3, equally acceptable with the other draft to G-4, but not acceptable to OPD, inserted the provision: "Prior to final approval of the administrative and operational plans, the Personnel, Organization and Training, Supply, and Operations Divisions of the War Department General Staff, acting jointly, will determine that the total means proposed for the several theaters are not in excess of the means that are available or can be made available." 17
Commenting on these alternate versions, General Handy objected strongly to the provision for concurrent action by all General Staff Divisions:
It provides for a return to the old system of concurrence between the several War Department General Staff divisions, which necessitated the present War Department General Staff Organization. The Operations Division, subject to the direction of the Chief of Staff, must be held responsible for balancing the operational demands of the several theaters with the means available, and for the approval or disapproval of requests of the theater commanders concerned. It is the only General Staff division which is fully cognizant of all the factors affecting the employment of U. S. Forces. The Operations Division should not be required to obtain concurrences from other General Staff divisions since such a procedure would seriously slow down the war effort. At the same time, however, the Operations Division should utilize the advice and assistance of the other General Staff divisions in solving these problems.18
Within a few days, on 5 August 1943, General McNarney resolved the controversy insofar as it related to the distribution of staff authority in logistic matters, categorically indorsing General Handy's point of view:
requirements of the several theaters, will balance the requirements against the means available, and will determine the priority and time when they are to be made available. The Operations Division will then inform the theater commander and the Assistant Chiefs of Staff, G-1, G-3, and G-4 what units, individuals and material are to be furnished and when they will be made available.
Each theater commander will be furnished with that portion of his estimated requirements which the Operations Division has determined necessary and consistent with overall requirements balanced against available means. Priorities, will be established in accordance with approved directives. Where units are requested which are not included in the Troop Basis, the Operations Division, War Department General Staff will determine the necessity therefore.
The Operations Division, War Department General Staff has primary interest in all matters involving overseas operations. Where these problems involve functions and policies which are primarily the responsibility of other War Department General Staff Divisions, the Operations Division will consult with the War Department General Staff division having primary interest. The Assistant Chief of Staffs, G-1, G-3, and G-4 will designate a section officer, or officers, through whom coordination may be effected. Formal concurrences will be eliminated whenever possible.19
By definitely assigning staff authority to OPD, General McNarney settled the central issue of OPD's position vis-à-vis the rest of the General Staff and, since the General Staff's authority over the three major zone of interior commands was left unaltered, vis-à-vis the Army Service Forces. The principle General McNarney was affirming was that the strategic and operational interests of the Army, as determined within OPD on behalf of the Chief of Staff, took precedence in case of conflict with other matters normally of primary interest to the other divisions of the General Staff. Correlation of logistic policy with strategic policy inside the War Department was to be a function of the General Staff, mainly a function of OPD. The fact that deliberations on strategy or operational policy might critically affect logistic programs, which ordinarily were within the province of the other General Staff Divisions or of the three zone of interior commands, did not limit the right of OPD to take staff action looking toward a solution of the problem at hand. In these cases OPD proceeded either to reach a decision or to recommend one to the Chief of Staff. The basis of such staff action was a general evaluation of the logistic situation, viewed in conjunction with a detailed appreciation of strategic operational requirements in the theaters. Thus Logistics Group officers joined with S&P and Theater Group officers to give balanced study to the most difficult kind of issues that came before the chief of the division and the Chief of Staff. Like General Marshall, OPD officers continued throughout the war to pay a great deal of attention not only to logistic information from General Somervell and his headquarters, but also to Army Service Forces recommendations and policies.20 Nevertheless it was clear henceforth in the Army that
the strategists in OPD, not the logisticians outside it, would control staff action whenever logistics and strategy were both involved in a military problem affecting overseas operations.
The Issue of Staff Organization in OPD
Although it settled the debate over authority for the rest of World War II, General McNarney's 5 August ruling left open the whole question of staff machinery appropriate to carry out the staff responsibility which it unequivocally placed on OPD. The Division had already been studying the administrative problem of internal staff organization while participating in the rest of the debate over the place of logistics in the War Department.21 General Hull, as chief of the Theater Group, had recommended that
a Troop Section be established within Theater Group and that this section be charged with the control and coordination of all troop matters over which the Operations Division has responsibility, and that this Troop Section be formed by augmenting the present Troop Movements Section of the Theater Group, with personnel from the present Troop Section, Logistics Group, and such additional personnel as may be necessary from other sections of the Theater Group.22
With regard to the related matter of supply, General Hull expressed a willingness to let the Logistics Group act as OPD's coordinating agency. This device would preserve OPD's orientation to the theaters, characterized by decentralization of the Chief of Staff's powers to staff officers in the individual theater sections. These officers had detailed knowledge of the area concerned, and their decisions were checked only by the Theater Group chief and his deputies for conformity with world-wide operational policy, by reference to S&P, or, in the last analysis, to the Assistant Chief of Staff, OPD, for conformity to grand strategy. What General Hull was proposing in fact was that the Theater Group check its own tendency to too much decentralization by strengthening the Troop Movements Section and giving it the job of co-ordinating the deployment of troops as suggested by the individual theater sections. Thus the Theater Group would retain the function that had always been the core of its work, namely, troop deployment to the theaters of operations. Provided this function was left intact, General Hull was willing to refer the closely connected problems of supply and equipment, insofar as they required co-ordination outside a single theater section, to supply specialists in another part of OPD, namely the Logistics Group.
A week after General McNarney's 5 August ruling, General Handy and Colonel Gailey worked out a solution on the issue of staff organization in OPD.23 It was only an interim solution since the whole logistic problem was reconsidered within two months. Nevertheless, most of the features of internal reorganization and reassignment of duties in OPD as chartered in this compromise became firmly fixed elements of the Division's logistic control machinery. Its
Group as General Hull had suggested. Under the direction and with the authority of the chief of the Theater Group, it would co-ordinate all troop movements to conform with its own determination of theater-wide requirements. The only function that General Hull had wanted for the Theater Group which was assigned to the Logistics Group was the task of maintaining information concerning the availability of troops.24
Nevertheless, the Logistics Group retained its previous duties and in fact gained authority. It was explicitly assigned responsibility for furnishing information on the availability of troops "as directed by the Theater Group," thus keeping a hand in the development of the troop program in general though not in the specific task of deploying troop units. In addition, the Logistics Group was responsible for estimating "future planning" in regard to "individuals, units and material," the task stressed by S&P as essential to strategic planning. It was solely responsible for all OPD action connected with the War Department (G-3) Troop Basis, the Overseas Troop Basis (for the use of supply agencies), and the Victory Program Troop Basis (for the use of procurement agencies). Finally, the Logistics Group was assigned the duty of co-ordinating "within Operations Division" all matters of supply handled by the individual theater sections. These duties, along with the Logistics Group's accustomed tasks of monitoring general supply problems, especially as they affected theaters of operations, and rendering logistic planning assistance to S&P and to joint and combined agencies, gave the Logistics Group broad responsibilities. At the same time the Theater Group in its own right kept the powers it needed to co-ordinate troop movements.25
Final changes in assignment of tasks in OPD were initiated at once after the interim agreement of 12 August. They were not completed until after one more careful reexamination by OPD of the whole logistic problem, including both the matters of organization inside the Division and the proper distribution of duties between OPD and the rest of the General Staff. At the request of General Hull, Acting Assistant Chief of Staff at the time, Colonel Maddocks prepared for General Handy a new study on the "duties now being performed by the Operations Division which might be assigned to other General Staff Divisions." In drawing up this report, Colonel Maddocks worked independently and not, as in June and July, as a member of a committee.
The point of departure for Colonel Maddocks' inquiry into the subject assigned him was a distinction between the two major functions of the War Department General Staff. He stated them as follows:
The War Department General Staff is performing two general
functions, as follows:
(1) Mobilization, organization, training, equipping, and supplying the Army.
(2) Formulation of plans for employment of the Army, the allocation and movement of available individuals, units and materiel to the several theaters of operations and the strategic reserve based upon approved plans and the shipping situation, and the direction of the field forces in the various theaters of operations.26
In general, Colonel Maddocks argued, it was sound to "charge the G1, G-3, and G-4 Divisions with the function of providing the means for conducting the war and the Operations Division with the function of directing the employment of the means provided." Since the "two functions are so closely interrelated that they can not be sharply separated," Colonel Maddocks considered it necessary for OPD to "perform every duty which is essential for the efficient discharge" of its responsibility for the "direction of field operations of the Army." Conversely, any duty OPD was performing which was "not essential to its work should be accomplished by the other General Staff Divisions."
This principle of transferring all work concerning "mobilization, organization, training, equipping, and supply of the Army" to G-1, G-3, and G-4 whenever it did not vitally affect OPD's discharge of its basic responsibility for operations, echoed a long-standing practice in OPD. It helped explain General Handy's negative reply to General Somervell's April 1943 proposal for the absorption of G-3. To some extent it vindicated OPD from charges that it was trying to make itself a complete General Staff. As Colonel Maddocks understood it, this self-denying principle rested on the following reasoning:
The Operations Division should discharge its responsibility by acting with the assistance and advice of the other General Staff Divisions in their respective fields. It is only by so doing that the Operations Division will be able to function efficiently unless it establishes agencies to perform the duties normally accomplished by G-1, G-3, and G-4 Divisions. Two general staffs would either have considerable overlap and duplication or one staff would overpower and swallow the other.
In borderline cases, where OPD was either overlapping the activities of other General Staff Divisions or threatening to absorb them entirely, Colonel Maddocks proposed the following criterion:
The Operations Division should perform all duties, under the supervision of the Chief of Staff, which are essential for the direction of the field operations of the Army and it should contain such agencies and assemble such data as is needed for the efficient discharge of this responsibility.
The other General Staff Divisions should perform all other General Staff duties, under the supervision of the Chief of Staff, that are not essential to the Operations Division.
So far, Colonel Maddocks' study proceeded in complete conformity with General McNarney's 5 August ruling on staff authority. In fact it was the classic wartime statement by an OPD officer on the authority of General Marshall's operations staff.
The administrative question, however, still had to be answered. Did OPD, in order to discharge its staff responsibilities, need a special logistic control agency primarily concerned with the general coordination of G-1, G-3, and G-4 activities? Colonel Maddocks personally considered that OPD did not need such an agency except insofar as the Theater Group already controlled troops and materiel. In support of his contention, he submitted an analysis of the thirty-six duties assigned to the Theater Group and the Logistics Group by the 12 August memorandum.27 From it he concluded that "every duty now assigned to the Logistics Group can be performed logically by remaining groups of the Operations Division and the other General Staff Divisions." To summarize his analysis supporting this conclusion, Colonel Maddocks listed the duties of Logistics Group in six "general categories":
(1) Future planning.—This is logically a function of the Strategy and
Policy Group to which logistic planners might be added, if desired.
(2) Troop Basis.—All matters with respect to the troop basis of theaters are logically the responsibility of the Theater Group, in which the assistance and advice of the other General Staff Divisions would be utilized, as necessary, and all matters with respect to the troop basis under development in the United States are logically the responsibility of the G-3 Division. The troop basis under development is based upon the needs of the Operations Division.
(3) Materiel.—All matters with respect to materiel in theaters are logically the responsibility of the Theater Group in which the assistance and advice of the G-4 Division would be utilized, as necessary, and all matters with respect to materiel being produced in the United States are logically the responsibility of the G-4 Division. The materiel being produced is based upon the needs of the Operations Division.
(4) Availability of individuals, units and material.—The G-3 Division is responsible for the organization and training of individuals and units in the United States, and should be required to keep the Operations Division informed on the status of training of such individuals and units, and the availability of individuals and units for operations. Likewise the G-4 Division is responsible for the supply of the Army and should be required to keep the Operations Division informed on the availability of equipment, supplies and materiel in the United States. The Operations Division should obtain required reports from the G-3 and G-4 Divisions, and should assemble such data therefrom as it needs for efficient performance of its work.
(5) Victory Program.—The G-4 Division, based upon the approved plans and operational demands of the Operations Division, is the logical agency to prepare and keep up to date the Victory Program.
(6) War Department Representative on the Munitions Assignment Committee and other Committees.—Since most of these committees deal with supply or matters related thereto, G-4 is the logical officer to represent the War Department. The needs and desires of the Operations Division, however, should be obtained in all matters affecting that division.28
This proposal to eliminate the Logistics Group was not easy to refute logically, but it presented grave administrative difficulties as of mid-1943. In the first place, most of the officers in S&P and the Theater Group, including General Hull, had always recognized in practice as well as principle that logistics (particularly supply) was a specialized field in which neither planners nor operations control officers were necessarily expert. Thus the practice has developed of letting the Logistics Group do the work on future planning, so far as logistic factors were concerned. General Hull had accepted the idea of referring intertheater operational problems involving material to the Logistics Group for Army-wide co-ordination while insisting that actions concerning troop deployment be referred to his new Troop Movements Section for Army-wide co-ordination. While Colonel Maddocks was correct in saying that both S&P and the Theater Group should perform the logistic or materiel aspect of their work, in practice both had left that aspect to the Logistics Group. To assume the duties connected with the logistic side of planning and operations control, both the Theater Group and S&P would have to attach their own specialist logistics officers and reorganize their work
to fit in with that of the other officers in each group.
In the second place, Colonel Maddocks' proposal raised the question of how OPD would secure its logistic information as promptly as necessary and with reasonable assurance of its reliability. Colonel Maddocks only hinted at one mechanical aspect of this problem when he pointed out that the other General Staff Divisions would have to start working on a 24-hour day, like OPD, so that "information vitally needed by the Operations Division" could be promptly obtained at all times. This difficulty so far had been avoided by having in OPD one officer, with his own group of assistants, responsible to the Division chief for meeting any and all of OPD's needs for logistic staff information or advice.
For both these reasons, the officers responsible for the main bulk of work in OPD were reluctant to make the readjustments necessary to carry on without the Logistics Group. Colonel Gailey summarized for General Handy the views of General Hull, Colonel Roberts (by then acting chief of S&P), and General Tansey, to all of whom Colonel Maddocks' August report had been referred for comment.29 General Hull reported that he was "in general agreement" with the Maddocks report, but that the Theater Group would require additional personnel for "liaison on materiel matters, " strengthening his Troop Movements Section by the "transfer of officers from the Logistics Group." General Tansey strongly advised against any dismemberment of the Logistics Group, recommending, if Colonel Maddocks' suggestions were to be followed; that the "bulk of his Group be transferred to G-4 and that G-4 be directed to perform aggressively the duties" reserved for it in General Staff regulations. Colonel Roberts reiterated the point of view of S&P, which was that the "Logistics Group should be retained as an agency of Operations Division" in order that it could represent OPD on "Joint and Combined Committees or agencies concerned with personnel, supply, assignment of munitions or other administrative matters" and be "made responsible for interpreting approved future plans and translating them into terms of supply requirements."
After analyzing the original report and these comments, Colonel Gailey recommended against the reassignment of Logistics Group functions. His decision rested on the need of OPD to have a unit specializing in information on logistics in its broadest aspects, that is, information on all zone of interior resources:
The Operations Division must be prepared at all times to have sufficient data on hand in order that it may advise the Chief of Staff on strategical and operational questions, with the least practicable delay. Quite naturally it can do this more effectively and efficiently if it has in its own organization a group that can furnish this information on moment's notice and be reasonably sure that the information is correct. If some of the functions of this group are reassigned to other divisions of the General Staff, the Chief of the Operations Division must be able to get from them such information as he desires, when he desires it and in what form he desires it. I am afraid this will be hard to attain. . . . Even before the reorganization the old War Plans Division recognized the necessity for some sort of Group that would keep information up to the minute and in the form desired. After the reorganization, this need was more acute and the Logistics Group was expanded to its present organization.30
General Handy indorsed this point of view, neatly phrasing it as the gist of his comments to General McNarney:
I discussed the proposed transfer of Logistics Group or a part thereof, to G-4 with General McNarney this morning. I indicated my views briefly as follows:
a. That the functions of this Group could be transferred to G-3, G-4 and to
other Groups in Operations Division but that, in my opinion this would slow
down our work.
b. That the Chief of Staff could not be reorganized, and we would be in a hell of a fix if we continued to get a great many of the papers and matters to act on that come to us.
c. That the question actually was much larger than a transfer of the Logistics Group. That to really build up G-4 would require a reassignment of functions and some changes as far as the Army Service Forces were concerned. I also pointed out to General McNarney that if we got satisfactory results out of G-4, they would have to change their entire tempo of doing business.31
The point about the difficulty of "reorganizing" the Chief of Staff was compelling. If General Marshall chose to use the staff of his command post in such a way as to require its chief to have logistics staff officers, General Handy had to make the necessary administrative arrangements to perform the services required of him. By the very logic set forth so clearly by Colonel Maddocks, whereby OPD had to do whatever work it found necessary to discharge its general responsibility for operations, OPD needed logisticians. As long as the Logistics Group met General Handy's requirements, there was little advantage and some disadvantage in redistributing the work in the Division.
After a preliminary discussion with General Hull, General Tansey, Colonel Roberts, Colonel Maddocks, and Colonel Gailey, General McNarney held a conference on 14 October and issued his instructions with reference to the questions raised in Colonel Maddocks' study. Though he issued no "formal directive," General McNarney indicated that his decisions were "final" 32 His ruling was fairly close to OPD's interim solution of 12 August, but it made some reduction of Logistics Group duties. Duties in the field of troop basis planning and procurement and supply scheduling, fields which by this time were no longer first priority problems either in strategic planning or operational control, were removed from Logistics Group and transferred to G-3 and G-4. Otherwise the duties of the Logistics Group, and in all respects the OPD group organization, remained precisely as agreed in August.
Of the long list of twenty-five responsibilities given the Logistics Group in Colonel Gailey's 12 August 1943 memorandum, General McNarney left all but eight. The elimination of these eight in effect took the Logistics Group out of the planning of munitions production and munitions assignment, both in the Army and in joint and combined committees, and made clear that its interest in troop basis calculations did not imply a "primary interest" in the War Department Troop Basis or in the determination of training requirements, both of which were duties belonging to G-3. Responsibility for the Victory Program estimates for the computation of the Army procurement
and supply program was turned over to G-4, as well as that of representing the War Department on all joint and combined boards and committees dealing with munitions assignments, production and resources, and communications. Although this transfer of duties did not go so far toward strengthening G-4 as had been suggested from time to time during the debate over logistic planning, it marked the beginning of a gradual rise in the volume of staff business done by G-4.
After General McNarney's October ruling, the Logistics Group still had a broad roster of duties, all of which fell into two main categories.33 Henceforth it did all kinds of logistic planning for the benefit of S&P, particularly on the joint and combined levels. Consequently General Tansey sat on the JLC and provided representatives for the JLPC, although he no longer did any work on the munitions assignments committees. By reviewing the work of the individual theater sections, the Logistics Group continued, in addition, its Army-wide coordination of operational activities related to materiel. In other words, the Logistics Group was responsible for G-4 kinds of work in OPD, both in the form of planning and in the form of operational control. It was the agent or adviser of S&P and the Theater Group for logistic matters. Through the specialized knowledge thus available, OPD was able to make educated guesses about the semistrategic, semilogistic issues that constantly required a decision by the Chief of Staff or by someone in his command post staff. As General Handy observed in 1944, in discussing an OPD ruling on the procurement of a special kind of radio set:
Almost all planning, procurement, and even operating agencies must have some assumptions or bases to work on. We have "stuck our necks out" continually in arriving at and giving out such assumptions or bases. Many of these will certainly, and all of them may, prove to be wrong. Some agency, however, must try to give answers and we happen to be in the position where we can't pass these questions on, much as we would like to do so.34
The final resolution of the long 1943 debate on War Department General Staff logistic planning and control of the movement of troops and materiel to the theaters permitted the Logistics Group and the Troop Movements Section of the Theater Group to adjust their organization and assignment of duties to conform to the final ruling. The change was not a radical one for the Logistics Group, merely simplifying its structure and clarifying the categories into which its work fell. The Troop Movements Section, on the other hand, rapidly expanded in size and continued for some time to increase the scope of its responsibilities as the Theater Group agency for co-ordination of the world-wide deployment of Army troops. Both the logistics and troop movement specialists in OPD were able to proceed throughout the rest of the period of hostilities with the orderly deve1opment of their activities in conformity with the general understanding achieved at the end of the August-October discussions.
Logistics and Troop Movements (October 1943-September 1945)
In its status as OPD's agency for logistic planning (Army, joint, and combined) and
for operational control of supply on an Army-wide basis, the Logistics Group performed a host of interrelated tasks. Many of them were concurrences on behalf of OPD, such as clearing actions of G-4 or other agencies for conformity to strategy and operational control policy, or committee work, in which the Logistics Group represented the special OPD point of view in joint and combined deliberations even on logistic matters so indirectly related to Army plans and operations as allocation of oil and food resources among the United Nations.
In January 1944 General Tansey formally reassigned duties in the group to mirror its duties after the October ruling. Henceforth throughout the war the Logistics Group was divided organizationally into an Operational (Theater Group type) Section and a Projected (Planning or S&P type) Section.35
The primary job of the Operational Logistics Section was the allocation of critical items of equipment among the several theaters. The Projected Logistics Section was the future planning part of the Logistics Group. It studied and made recommendations on joint and combined logistic issues and, in the Army, screened and passed on the allotment of equipment and supplies to future operational projects submitted by theater commanders for War Department approval.36 It supported the work of its chief and the group chief in joint and combined logistic deliberations. Also it continued informally to advise and assist other War Department agencies on all kinds of logistic matters, since the knowledge of its officers with regard to operational requirements and future plans was invaluable.37 Logistics Group duties were greater in volume after its divestment of some of its responsibility in October 1943 than before, since the group still had to advise or act for OPD on the multitude of logistic issues referred to the Division for concurrence and since the rapid development of joint logistic planning brought a flood of new work.38
Like the Theater Group, the Logistics Group carried on much of its work in 1944 and 1945 merely by monitoring and taking staff responsibility for being certain of the fact of accomplishment of essential duties by the Army Service Forces or the Army Air Forces, the latter of which handled its own services. For instance an "operational projects" system was set up in the War Department to secure approval for supply and equipment to carry out enterprises planned by theater commanders. The Logistics Group kept a file with a card for each project "showing action taken and date dispatched from OPD." At set intervals Logistics Group officers reviewed the file to determine whether or not the Army Service Forces or the Army Air Forces had taken appropriate action and had notified the appropriate theater.39 If not, of course, OPD turned its attention to the project again as if it were a matter of current business.
In April 1944 the Logistics Group was assigned the special task of acting for OPD in the "assembly and coordination of information pertaining to the future strategic deployment of the Army of the United States."40 The group was well equipped to
discharge this responsibility, which included supplying information for deployment studies conducted by joint planning agencies, since it had been furnishing the same information to the other groups in OPD for about two years. Specifically designed to convey deployment information were two monthly tables, which the Logistics Group had issued since June 1943. One of them showed systematically the current deployment of all Allied ground combat divisions, and the other showed the status of U. S. Army divisions with respect to training, date of deployment overseas, operational experience, casualties, and current locations.41 The Logistics Group prepared these publications throughout the period of hostilities and represented OPD in strategic deployment planning until March 1945 when the duty passed to the Theater Group.42
Elimination of the apparent overlapping of Logistics, G-4, and Army Service Forces functions, demanded in the 1943 controversy, was discussed again toward the end of hostilities. OPD's position, based on its pragmatic concern with its immediate objective of carrying out its wartime responsibilities to the Chief of Staff, was clearly and finally stated by General Hull in May 1945:
Primarily because of the magnitude and tempo of the war, new logistic agencies have arisen and old ones developed considerably to meet the demands for speedy action. Within OPD itself I find it necessary to maintain a small logistics group to assist in the rapid conduct of work and to render prompt service to the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff. Any material disturbance or realignment of logistic agencies within the War Department now or during the period of active operations would, in my opinion, affect adversely the expeditious prosecution of the war.43
One result of the interim solution of the August-October debate in OPD was the assignment of new duties to the Troop Movements Section, and a corollary was the rapid expansion of its staff. After August 1943, instead of merely checking and coordinating all troop movement orders for technical correctness, Troop Movements began to advise the Theater Group as a whole on the availability of troops and to pass approval on their allocation to the theaters by the individual theater sections. Its functions were described as follows:
(1) To perform the operational duties of G-1 and G-3 for the Theater Group
insofar as is practicable.
(2) To relieve Theater Sections of the necessity for searching for means to fill their requirements.
(3) To determine for the Theater Group Chief the justification for all requirements and approve or disapprove all requirements.
Its orientation with regard to theater sections was explicitly set forth:
The Troop Movement Section will actually operate in all matters relating to contacts with the three major commands and with other interested agencies of the W. D. concerning overseas troop requirements arid allocations insofar as available means are concerned. . . .
The Troop Movement Section will normally not deal direct with theate
commanders but will furnish theater section chiefs with appropriate information copies of all actions.
The Troop Movement Section (Requirements and Allocations Branch) will obtain
through the Theater Sections' chiefs such information as is necessary to
(1) Issue movement directives.
(2) Determine priorities.
(3) Maintain Troop Basis, present and projected.
(4) Maintain firm commitments for the ensuing three months.
Thus for troop matters common to all the theater sections, the Troop Movements Section acted for the Theater Group, clearing all theater section actions on theater requirements for troop units and replacements before their submission to the Theater Group chief for approval.45 In Troop Movements, OPD had its equivalent of G-3 for matters of theater-wide or Army-wide concern. The rest of the Theater Group still provided specialist staffs thoroughly acquainted with all problems of each theater and able to direct operations on a day-to-day basis, while Troop Movements after its expansion served to redress the balance of theater section decentralization.
This organization and assignment of duties in the Troop Movements Section lasted until the fall of 1944, when the section was renamed the Troop Control Section and augmented to act as a central War Department agency for co-ordinating and controlling the redeployment of the Army upon the defeat of Germany. This problem, along with the interrelated problems of concurrent partial demobilization and eventual full demobilization, was the responsibility of the Special Planning Division of the War Department Special Staff set up for the purpose. Nevertheless, redeployment was a matter of vital concern to operations and therefore to OPD. General Handy recommended that "overall fundamental policies and procedures be adopted and announced, in order that War Department agencies, the three principal commands, and overseas commanders may act on a sound and common basis," and General McNarney, 11 September 1944, directed: "The Operations Division, War Department General Staff is charged with the responsibility of insuring coordination of all matters pertaining to redeployment." 46
General Hull already had informed General Handy:
My view is that there should be a control section. The Operations Division must run this redeployment if it is to be done effectively. Therefore, the control section should be in the Operations Division. I feel that the responsibility should rest with the Theater Group, and do not feel that another group should be established for this purpose. A control section within, or closely connected with the Troop Movements Section of the Theater Group is the best solution.47
General Handy instructed General Hull to set up any organization-he considered necessary to assume for OPD the responsibility for "coordination of all matters concerning redeployment." 48 On the same day, General Handy informed General McNarney that a Troop Control Section was being set up in the Theater Group, "utilizing as a basis the present Troop Movements Section, to discharge OPD's responsibilities for redeployment." 49 The Troop Control Section was officially established 1 October 1944 with twenty-one officers including all of the Troop Movements Section personnel. 50
Throughout the last two years of hostilities, the Troop (Movements) Control Section produced two valuable new documents in addition to carrying on its day-to-day work. In the first place, on the basis of its close collaboration with G-3 in preparing the War Department Troop Basis, it produced the OPD complement to it, the War Department Troop Deployment, the only War Department document showing in detail the planned future distribution of units and strength of the Army by theaters. It was produced quarterly during 1944 indicating deployment as of the dates used in the current War Department Troop Basis. Beginning with the 1 July 1944 publication, it indicated the planned deployment of the Army by quarter-year through 30 June 1945. Beginning in December 1944, after a special trial issue of 1 October 1944, it was published monthly.51
The second document issued by the Troop (Movements) Control Section was the Six Months List or Six Months Forecast.52 Initially, during 1943, the individual theater sections compiled this document, which simply indicated the units earmarked for movement to each theater during each of the six months following publication. Published approximately monthly after the first issue, 12 January 1943, the Six Months Forecast assisted all War Department agencies, particularly the three major zone of interior commands, to meet commitments in forces and equipment by advance planning. When Troop Movements took over the Six Months Forecast in the fall of 1943 as part of its intertheater troop co-ordination job, the document became more reliable since its commitments to each theater were then made with close reference to one another and to total availability from the three major commands. It continued to be published through the 27th Revision, 6 May 1945. Thereupon it was replaced by putting into effect the Redeployment Forecast, de-
veloped by teh Troop Control Section pursuant to its being charged with co-ordinating redeployment. 53 The Redeployment Forecast was a detailed schedule for moving units, theater by theater, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It was the master plan that was just going into operation when the Japanese surrender ended hostilities.
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Last updated 19 October 2004